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AGR 120, Weeks 1-8 notes

by: Hailey Kruse

AGR 120, Weeks 1-8 notes AGR 120

Hailey Kruse


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Seed and Grain Technology
Justin Hagedorn
Class Notes
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This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hailey Kruse on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to AGR 120 at Lake Area Technical Institute taught by Justin Hagedorn in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Seed and Grain Technology in Agricultural And Food Systems at Lake Area Technical Institute.

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Date Created: 09/15/16
Intro to Grain Storage  4 Main Reasons to store grain o Harvest pressure on price o Flexibility in marketing o Harvest capacity o Retaining grain  Harvest Pressure on Price o Supply and demand  Cash or contract prices during harvest season are typically lower than later during the year  Elevators are filling up due to increased incoming grain volume during harvest  Railways are running at higher capacity, as are export terminals  Fuel costs for drying drain at the elevator  Some end users (ethanol plants, feed mills, crush plants) would rather acquire materials over the course of the year, rather than one lump sum  Flexibility in Marketing o Producers can now pick and choose marketing opportunities  When?  Where?  How much? o Basis, basis, basis!  Harvest Capacity o Transporting grain to town could create a “bottleneck” o If you are hauling grain to town, and so are 20 other producers, guess what?  You’re waiting in line, that’s what. o Larger/multiple combines o Higher yielding hybrids o Larger farms necessitate that combines keep rolling  Retaining Grain o Feeding grain to different livestock enterprises o Sell grain throughout the season to neighboring animal feeding operations o Corn-burning stoves o Others  What are our options? o Invest in on farm structures o Rent storage space from commercial elevators o Rent storage space from other farms or landowners o Apply for a storage program from a local elevator  Cargill o Condominium storage  On Farm Storage o Most common option for producers o Retains the most flexibility in marketing o Peace of mind that storage space will be available next growing season o Must ensure that bin site layout remains efficient and practical  On Farm Storage 2 o Makes it very simple to check on stored grain and preserve quality o Allows for blending of crop if desired o Keep certain varieties separate from another if necessary  Starlink corn in fall of 2000  Seed producers o If bin sites are closer to fields, grain can be moved faster  On Farm Storage 3 o However:  Upfront costs can be pricey  Dirt work  Forms  Bin structure and assembly  Electrical service  Grain must be monitored throughout the term of storage  Once construction is done, it’s kind of tricky to move them around  Renting Commercial Storage o Short term ‘Band-Aid’ fix for increased volume of grain o Rental rates are usually based on term length of storage, but a minimum rate is fairly common o Elevator is able to dry the grain if necessary, and guarantees to maintain grain quality o If grain is sold through the host elevator (usually) no further handling is required by producer  Renting Commercial Storage 2 o Harvest may be slowed down by the bottleneck effect o Typically the producer is obligated to sell grain to the host elevator o Holding grain up to the summer months may actually cost more to rent than to build on farm storage  Renting On Farm Storage 2 o Sometimes come negotiated with rental acres, sometimes terms are based on a separate term/agreement o Rents can be negotiated on a year to year basis o Storage and drying setups may be located right on site o On farm rates typically are lower than rented commercial storage o Flexibility to market is maintained o Producer is still in charge of checking grain and maintaining quality o Renter may be reluctant to update or upkeep facilities without a long term lease  Bin Programs o Some elevators have programs that allow a producer to build a bin on farm ground with financial help from the elevator o Usually cover cost of basic bin structure o Producer is required to pay for dirt work, service provision and any upgrades to the bin o Producer is contracted to sell XX% of storage to elevator for Y years  What about Grain Bagging? o I’d call this temporary on-farm o Band-Aid fix for on farm storage o Typically last filled, first emptied  Costs of Storing Grain o Cost of facilities  If facilities are owned (on farm storage) annual costs are fixed  If facilities are leased or rented, annual costs should be considered o Drying Grain  Grain at harvest may not be dry enough to store safely until summer  Fuel isn’t free  Maintenance o Aeration  Electricity moves air  Extra handling of grain o Needs to go to the elevator sometime!  Grain Handling Equipment o Transfers grain from point a to point b  Efficiently  Gently  Safely  Hopefully easier than with a shovel  Grain Auger o One of the simple machines-inclined plane o Grain augers first used in 1945 o Fairly simple and inexpensive o Can be fitted with poly flighting  For special uses  However… o Augers are basically grinders o Flighting and tube will wear out o Can be dangerous  Pinch points/entanglement  Tip overs o Safety screens can plug with MOG o Should be operated at full capacity  Belt Conveyors o Much gentler on commodity o Doesn’t plug with MOG as easily o Safer to work around o Can move huge amounts of grain  Grain stackers at elevators o So far so good!  Unfortunately… o Can only operate up to certain angles  Textured belts help but still o More moving parts o Money  Drag Link Conveyors o High capacity transport  Typically horizontal o Slats grind grain o Maintenance o Power requirements o Still used for short/flat transport  Flat transit for a grain leg  Load out facilities  Grain Legs o Use buckets/paddles to move grain to a height o If bin sites allow, very little bottleneck  Can be easily switched for wet grain, dry grain, transfer to storage, and load out o Typically more expensive to install  Requires its own infrastructure  Pit, conveyors/down tubes o Very tall  Service all bins  Maintenance  Afraid of heights much?  Grain Pump (Loop Systems) o Cross between a draglink conveyor and a grain leg  More efficient/simpler than above system o Can be used for both inloading and outloading o Blending grain o Ease of expansion if bin site allows o What if the chain breaks underneath? o Limited bin placement options  Have to have bins in lines  Pneumatics (Air Transport) o Very gentle on commodity o Can route lines easily where augers would have difficult times o Great for driers! o Slow… o Limited distances o Lines can plug o Again, very spendy upfront o Maintenance  Calculating Volume o Determining Size Requirements  Must look at 2 factors:  Harvest and Drier Capacity o Typically in terms of bushes per hour o Harvest capacity is how many bushels per hour are harvested. Size trucks and unload equipment. o Drier capacity is how many bushels per hour we need to dry.  Total Bushels Required o Total bushels required determines size and quality of bins  Calculating Harvest and Drier Capacity o Need to know 5 things:  Swath width  Ground speed  Length of working day  Yield  Field efficiency  The percentage of time that a machine actually works/harvests in the field  Unloading is a disadvantage  Terrain, break downs, getting stuck can also prevent a farmer from harvesting  Make sure to watch units! o If we know the width of our swath (in feet), our ground speed (in feet per hour), and our field efficiency (which is a percentage) we can calculate acres/hour o From acres per hour we can multiply by yield and work day length to calculate both harvest and drier capacity  Conversions for Harvest and Drier Capacity o 43,560 ft^2/acre 5280 ft/mile  Grain Storage Planning o Future Expansion  Yield trend line  Better hybrids and practices o Drought resistance o Better pest control o N fixing corn? WOW!  Larger acre bases  Larger machines o Maybe an on farm pit o Upgrade to a cont. flow/tower drier  Points to Ponder o Capacity? How many bushels am I storing? o Current grain handling system o Power to the site  Above or below ground  1 or 3 phase?  220 or 440 volt? o State highways  Load limits  Road maintenance  Soil  Grain Drying o Physiological Maturity  Point at which grain has fully developed  Nutrient flow to and from see is cut off  Moisture content is still high  Harvest Maturity o Point at which grain is ready for mechanical harvest o Moisture content has decreased o Grain is most resilient to damage except if too dry o Harvest loss is minimized o Plant may still impede harvest  Lodging/green stems  Physiological Maturity in Corn o Happens roughly 60 days after silking o Moisture content 30-35% o Black layer  After black layer, stress has little effect on yield  May still lose yield to lodging, dropped ears  Harvest maturity  20-25% moisture  Why so high? 1-2% harvest loss  Physiological Maturity in Soybeans o 95% of pods changed to mature color o 35% moisture grain initially o Dries to 15% in 5-10 days o After pod matures precipitation can cause bean dropping o Harvest may be slowed by green stems yet?  Physiological Maturity in Wheat o More difficult to pin down than corn or soybeans o Typically seen as loss of green from kernels, peduncles and glumes o Pigment line along the crease of kernel o Moisture is 20-40% o Grain rapidly loses moisture until it is ready for mechanical harvest-resilient to denting from fingernail  New Term: Relative Humidity o A percentage of the actual humidity in an air mass compared to the maximum humidity that air mass could hold  Can a hot or cold air mass hold more humidity? o Adding 20 degrees to an air mass roughly halves RH o Grain drying is 100% dependent on this factor!  What about it? o At harvest maturity, some grain is still wetter than we want to store for a length of time. o To hold grain long term for any reason, we may need to remove moisture.  Problems Storing Grain 1 o Moisture  High moisture grain can be damaged during mechanical harvest (broken kernels)  Mold/fungus: mycotoxins like aflatoxin, vomitoxin and ochratoxin  Insects: granary weevil, grain borer, Indian meal moth  Heating  Caused by cellular respiration  Insect excrement  More moisture invites microorganisms  The chemical breakdown of grain releases heat  Problems Storing Grain 2 o Broken kernels  Exposes an energy source for microorganisms  Provides surface area for reactions  Discounts because of damage/foreign material  Alter pore spacing/airflow rates  Advantages of Grain Drying o Better quality grain from minimizing weather exposure o Reduces harvest losses o Eliminates the need for “perfect” weather  Advantages of Grain Drying 2 o Allows use of straight cutting small grains o Longer maturing hybrids o Double cropping (further south) o Allows for a longer time period for harvest o More time for postharvest fieldwork  Disadvantages of Drain Drying o Something else to manage during harvest season o Initial investment can be pricy o Operating cost for fuel, electrical, maintenance o Extra grain handling o Potential for fire  And if they catch fire, not much we can do o Heat damage to grain if too much fire/heat  Air Temp and RH o As a general rule of thumb, adding 20 degrees doubles moisture carrying ability while halving relative humidity o The greater the difference between grain moisture and air relative humidity, the quicker moisture wicks away from grain  Closer to equilibrium RH, slower drying  Airflow Rates o Determined by fan type, engine size, and fan speed o Measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute) o Deeper grain mass, less porosity in grain mass, and higher airflow lead to higher static pressures against fan, lowering efficiency o As air flows through grain mass, it loses heat and gains humidity until no more moisture is removed (equilibrium RH is reached)  Types of Dryers o Natural air o Batch dryer  Recirculating batch dryer o In-bin continuous flow o Continuous flow/tower (Stand alone)  Natural Air Drying o Grain is added to the bin o Ambient air is forced through grain mass o Grain is dried to the ability of the ambient air mass  Natural Air Drying Advantages o No harvest bottleneck! o If conditions are correct may dry for cheaper than heated dyer  Natural Air Drying Disadvantages o There is a limit on grain drying ability o Very weather dependent o May take many hours to dry grain to acceptable levels  High Temp Bin Drying o Batch  Recirculating o Continuous flow  Lowest cost for heated applications  Bins can be used as storage when drying is finished  Batch Drying o Simplest of the in-bin drying systems o Wet grain is loaded into the bin o We add airflow and heat o Moisture layers in grain o Once grain is dry enough, it is removed, mixing layers, averaging moisture content o Harvest has to stop for a day(s) at a time  Recirculating o Wet grain is added to the bin o We add airflow and heat o Stirators/fountain auger o Again, once grain is dry enough on average, it is transferred to storage and cooled o Harvest still must stop for a period of time  In-Bin Continuous Flow o Wet grain is added to a bin o We add airflow and heat o Grain in bottom layer dries o System removes bottom layer of grain o Next layer dries, and is removed o If grain is close to storage quality, combines can roll daily.  High Temp Bin Drying Advantages o Dries faster than natural air o Can act as a storage bin once last of grain is dried o Adding grain drying equipment to bin is cheaper than freestanding types o Run cooler temperatures to avoid grain damage o Heat is used more efficiently  High Temp Bin Drying Disadvantages o Still can create a harvest bottleneck o Even continuous flow lacks high volume o Heat damaged grains o Bin fires  Continuous Flow Driers o Both mobile and stationary models o Handle small-mid size volumes o Typically run high temps and airflows  Little dry time/bushel o Both dries and cools grain  Most of the time, anyways  Tower Driers o Much like smaller continuous flow driers o Typically operate on reverse flow cooling o Can handle large amounts of grain  Very large farms  Commercial facilities o Natural gas availability?  Use a lot of propane o Handle up to 10,000 BPH  Continuous Flow/Tower Driers Advantages o Can handle larger volumes than in bin systems o Dryer does not take up storage bin volume o Smaller units can be portable  Multiple bin sites  Continuous Flow/Tower Disadvantages o Require a wet holding bin  Size for 12x dryer capacity/hr  Ex. 1000 bu/hr cap=12k wet holding o Need a constant lower volume takeaway system o Heat is not utilized as efficiently  Preheating o $$$$  Over Dried Grain o If grain is dried too far, we run into a few problems  Grain is now more susceptible to damage  Not only did it cost more per bushel in fuel and electrical costs, but…  We don’t have as much water to sell anymore  Dryer Fuels o Propane  Sold in gallons  Can be stored in tanks away from pipelines  91,500 BTU/gal o Natural Gas  Sold in cu ft or therms  Need to be located on a pipeline (volume)  1,020 BTU/cu ft  Ex. 500 Therms, 50,000,000 BTUs  50,000,000/91,500= 546.5 gallons*$1.10=$601.15  Dryer Efficiency o Simply put, dryer efficiency is defined as the energy cost to dry one bushel of grain one point (units are $/pt/bu).  It is not the same as total cost of drying (include shrinkage for total cost).  Energy costs and profit margins are tightening up. Need to dry grain for least cost possible. o To calculate dryer efficiency, you need to know:  Volume of wet grain dried down  Gallons or ft^3 of fuel used and price  KW hours electricity used and price  Initial moisture content  Final moisture content  Air Flow o Air flow is exponentially related to air velocity through grain. If a 10 horse fan blows x amount of air through, it takes a 50 horse fan to blow 2x air.  Terminology o CFM  Cubic feet per minute  Need air flow to dry grain o Static pressure  PSI  Pounds per square inch  Static Pressure o Resistance to air flow causes pressure o Use manometers o Measured in inches H2O o One inch=0.036 psi  What Determines Fan Performance? o Grain depth o If you need to dry 1000 bushels, is it easier to have 10 bushels deep and 100 across or 100 deep and 10 across?  10 deep and 100 across o Pore Space  Dependent on grain size, broken kernels and pack factors o These factors determine static pressure!!  Can we use this to monitor bins during storage  Grain Size and Fines/Broken Kernels o Grain size directly impacts pore spacing  Small grains will have less pore space than corn and soybeans o Fines or brokens fill in pore space in a grain mass  Smaller chunks filter in between larger whole kernels  Can help minimize this by either using a screener or coring the bin  Pack Factors o Directly impacts pore spacing in grain o If filled at low velocity, it is considered low pack o If filled at a higher velocity, it is considered highly packed  What do we mean by low or high velocity filling?  How fast we were putting grain into a bin  Estimating Static Pressure o Handy dandy chart from Purdue University o Bottom axis is depth of grain mass in feet o Vertical axis is static pressure in inches H2O o Lines are varying CFM/Bu o Examples  1 CFM/Bu through 16 feet of grain  2 CFM/Bu through 16 feet of grain  Let’s Talk About Fans o Axial Vane Fans  Commonplace  Lower initial investment  Looks like a box fan on steroids  Noisy!!  Well suited for lower static pressures (less than 4” water)  Used for drying  Cont’d o Centrifugal Fans  Becoming more popular  Much quieter  Efficient with higher static pressure (higher than 4” water)  Why more common now?  Bins are getting larger  $$$ 


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